Conservation of Reiek Tlang: a brief assessment of the adverse effect of vehicles and a plea for its cessation


In Mizoram, slightly west of Aizawl, lies a magnificent ridge known as Reiek Tlang. In a state where, according to the Environment and Forest Department, 87.42% is covered with forest, the ridge is uncharacteristic. It hosts splendid meadow-like vegetation in an otherwise rugged, mountainous region. The thin soil on the ridge-top, a nutrient rich silt loam, forms a skin that envelopes the bedrock and provides sustenance for the tall grass as well as for other vegetation. The absence of tall trees enables one to view the steep cliffs to the east that overlook thick forest while a gentle rolling valley to the north is also in clear sight. As a result, Reiek Tlang is frequented by visitors from all over Mizoram and beyond. Its close proximity to the state’s capital, Aizawl also makes it a popular destination. Unfortunately, its lure is also degrading its beauty as vehicles plying on this slope are thinning the soil and removing the skin off the ridge.

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